- May 01, 2009, Edited by Claudia Hine, Managing Editor
The fruits of more than two years of hard work are paying off for Carded Graphics. The company has installed a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 offset press with hybrid ultraviolet (UV) capability, one of the first in the US.
To make room for the press, which doubles the company's production capabilities, the folding carton converter recently built a 60,000-sq-ft addition. The seven-color press with aqueous coater was installed with Heidelberg's full prepress system, as well as its Prinect Image Control color measuring system and Prinect Inspection Control, which monitors color consistency across the sheet.
According to Murry Pitts, president and owner of Carded Graphics, “We chose a hybrid system from Heidelberg for its ease of use and production capability. We can now switch between aqueous coating and UV inks easily, which is a big advantage and enhances our capability portfolio.”
Now Carded Graphics is taking UV orders from clients that the converter previously would have outsourced. “The XL 105 gives us a way to serve our existing UV clients better and gives us a value-added sales approach for customers looking for higher gloss and different printing substrates,” Pitts says.
Carded Graphics primarily serves national accounts in the food, medical and medical devices, consumer electronics, tobacco products, and pharmaceutical packaging industries. Pitts bought the company in April 2006 from Manchester Industries and merged it with his own North Carolina-based Pell Paper Box.
In the same year, Pitts moved the entire operation to Staunton, VA, in the Shenandoah Valley and retained the Carded Graphics LLC name. Now with more than 75 employees, Carded Graphics has expanded its operations and capabilities to become one of the largest folding carton converters in the region.
To help the company print any grade of folding carton material up to a thickness of 40 pt, the XL 105 comes with a plastics and substrates package. The press was built on an elevated platform for ease of printing on thicker substrates and larger stock.
In addition to expanded capabilities and greater productivity, seamless workflow and quality control are important to Pitts and the Carded Graphics team. So important, the company decided to replace a fairly new computer-to-plate device with Heidelberg's Suprasetter 105 platesetter to create a streamlined production process from the front end to back end.
“I knew that Heidelberg's Prinect Prepress Manager workflow would be a crucial part of our expansion,” Pitts said. “Every part of our process, from prepress to finishing, can now connect and work seamlessly to create a finished product with faster turnaround and precise color management. Prinect is really a superior workflow system.”
Carded Graphics has run Prinect Prepress Manager workflow for over a year and has integrated the Speedmaster XL 105 into its workflow. Positive-working offset aluminum Saphira Thermoplate PN plates from Heidelberg are in use with the new Suprasetter 105.
“Our capability now covers the full spectrum,” Pitts says. “Some of our customers request foil board and other substrates, and we can now do that internally. There isn't much we can't print now.”
▶Carded Graphics LLC | Green Hills Industrial Pk., 2 Industry Way, Staunton, VA 24401 | 540-248-5566 | www.cardedgraphics.com